Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stuffing Recipe, Turkey Stuffing Recipe



Not everyone is a stuffing fan. Some in our family can't live without it, and some skip it. I personally like to have a few bites of stuffing, with gravy, and that's enough for me. But my daughter Bethany... if you have stuffing your turkey, it could be the start of world war 3. I have a few different family stuffing recipes, but here's the turkey stuffing recipe we've been making for the past 20+ years.





  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery (with leaves
  • 3/4 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 3 cups apples, diced (it's not necessary to peel them)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 9 cups bread cubes (I like to try different types of breads, like sourdough, english muffin bread, challah, whole wheat, etc)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
Melt butter in large pot or pan on the stove (a wok works really great for this) over medium-high heat. Cook celery and onion in butter for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Loosely stuff your turkey (both ends).

How to Cook Turkey, Herb Roasted Turkey, How to Cook a Turkey

Turkey is a Thanksgiving staple, and there are so many different ways to cook a turkey. You can roast it, fry it, baste it, bag it, inject it, stuff it, and so on.

How do you cook a turkey to have it come out deliciously moist and scrumptious? We traditionally roast our turkey  for Thanksgiving. This year we will also be frying a turkey in addition to our herb roasted turkey.

Here's some tips on how to cook turkey, and our favorite recipe for herb roasted turkey:






Herb Butter:
*1 stick softened butter (8 Tbsp)
*1 Tbsp. each:
      fresh rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
      fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
      fresh thyme leaves
      fresh tarragon leaves
Mix herbs into butter and set aside.

When preparing your turkey, remove the neck and giblets from inside the bird (I forgot to do this one time and left the bag of giblets in the turkey, no harm done, but I didn't get to use the giblets for my gravy). See my tip below on what to do with the giblets and neck. Thoroughly rinse bird inside and out with cold water.

Gently loosen the skin from the breasts with your fingers, being careful not to tear the skin. Spread half of the herb butter under the skin. Spread the remaining butter all over the top and sides of the turkey.

Loosely pack your turkey with stuffing if you're stuffing your bird. Click for our favorite stuffing recipe.

If roasting the turkey open in a roaster, place the turkey on a rack, breast side up, in the roasting pan and bake at 325^ according to the time chart below, using a meat thermometer placed in the thigh muscle, until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 180^. While the turkey is roasting, use a baster to bring the juices up and drizzle over the turkey while it's roasting. I do this after the 1st hour, and then about ever half hour or so, whenever I think of it and get a chance.

If roasting the turkey in a turkey bag, follow the timing chart on the bag instructions. When I use a turkey bag I put about a 1/4 cup of flour in the bag and shake it all around, then add 2 sprigs of washed celery (with leaves), a handful of baby carrots, 1/2 of a medium onion, sliced, and a handful of fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme, and tarragon). We put the bird on top of the vegetables and herbs. It helps to flavor the juices for the gravy.

When the turkey has reached 180^ remove from oven and cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

TIMETABLE FOR ROASTING TURKEY:

UNSTUFFED
UNSTUFFED
STUFFED
STUFFED
Weight
Cook Time
Weight
Cook Time
6 - 8 pounds2 1/4 - 3 1/4 hours6 - 8 pounds3 - 3 1/2 hours
8 - 12 pounds3 - 4 hours8 - 12 pounds3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours
12 - 16 pounds3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours12 - 16 pounds4 - 5 hours
16 - 20 pounds4 - 5 hours16 - 20 pounds4 1/2 - 5 1/2 hours
20 - 24 pounds4 1/2 - 5 1/2 hours20 - 24 pounds5 - 6 1/2 hours

*Tip on what to do with those giblets and the neck:
While my turkey is cooking I boil the giblets and neck in a medium saucepan filled with water (enough water to cover all the giblets and neck) for about a half an hour or so until they're thoroughly cooked and have flavored the water. I set it aside and leave it alone until it's time to make my gravy.

When it's time to make my gravy, remove the giblets and neck and add some of this water to the juices from the turkey and make my gravy with the juices from the turkey and the flavored water. It gives you more gravy, which sometimes is necessary in our household so we can slather it on not only our turkey, but also our garlic mashed potatoes and stuffing. And then I'll use it to make hot turkey sandwiches for leftovers (one of my personal favorites for leftover turkey).

Also, if you'd like, you can chop up the giblets and add them to your gravy as well. My Mom used to make "giblet gravy" as she called it. I personally like it without the giblets. But our dog and cat sure love the giblets as a treat for the holiday!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Specials and Deals

ROCKY MOUNTAIN LODGE & CABINS IS OFFERING
BLACK FRIDAY AND CYBER MONDAY SPECIALS AND DEALS

Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins is offering several differnt specials for Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. These deals are ONLY available for bookings made over Black Friday weekend (November 26th, 27th & 28) and Cyber Monday (November 29th), 2010. Here are our Colorado lodging deals you can take advantage of:

Special #1:
Spend Christmas in Colorado and take 20% off our Colorado Vacation Rental Lodge!

Special #2:
Book your Family Reunion for 2011 and save 20% off your Lodge booking!

Special #3:
Book any room in our Bed and Breakfast Lodge for January 2011 and save 20% off our already discounted rates.
 
Special #4:
Book our Cabin or Cottage for 3 nights or more January thru April in 2011 and your 4th night is free (a 25% discount)!

See our Specials Page for more details about these specials, and other specials we're offering.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Manitou Springs Commonwheel Artists Co-op

Voted the "Best Place to Buy Art" by the Colorado Springs Independent, the Manitou Springs Commonwheel Artsists Co-op offers the works of many local and regional artists with gallery shows featuring opening receptions free to the public.

In the sales shop, local members offer examples of their creativity, such as home accessories, photography, pottery, jewelry, paintings, sculpture, and wearables. Enjoy the diversity of artwork as well as reasonable prices.

102 Canon Ave, Manitou Springs, Colorado


7 days a week; 10:00am - 6:00pm
 
While here for the art gallery, stay with us at Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins in our Manitou Springs Bed and Breakfast Inn or our Manitou Springs Cabin Rentals.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sour Cream Apple Pie

I make a variety of different apple pies, but this is a favorite amongst most of my families, and the one that my adult children and brothers and sisters always demand I make for the holidays. Enjoy our family favorite Sour Cream Apple Pie recipe.

SOUR CREAM APPLE PIE

Pie:
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch unbaked pie crust
  • 1 slightly beaten egg
  • 1 (8-oz) ctn. sour cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped, peeled tart apples
Streusel Topping:
  •  1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl stir together the egg, sour cream, granulated sugar, 2 Tbsp. flour, vanilla, and salt. Stir in chopped apples. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Cover edge of pie crust with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

While pie is baking make streusel topping. In a small mixing bowl combine the 1/2 cup flour and the brown sugar. cut in butter until crumbly.

After the pie has baked for 25 minutes, remove foil from pie and sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake 20 more minutes, or until top is golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate within 2 hours; cover for longer storage.

Serves 8.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes, Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday in our family. My family call it the "eating marathon". We start with a gourmet breakfast of fruit, a breakfast egg casserole, and homemade cinnamon rolls. Then we move on to appetizers a few hours later. Then the main entree with turkey of course, a ton of sides, and homemade rolls. And then the dessert. I always get a little bit of grief from my family because I LOVE to make desserts. I make several family favorites and traditional thanksgiving desserts, and will try 1 new dessert every year. Sometimes it turns out to be 1 dessert (pie, cheesecake, etc) per person. There's always SO much food, and my hubby and kids give me a hard time for all the food we have, but for some reason it always get eaten, and within a couple days there's no leftovers.

I will be sharing several of our favorite Thanksgiving Recipes here on our blog, including several Easy Thanksgiving Recipes that you can prepare in advance and save yourself time on Thanksgiving Day. As I add more recipes to my blog and website's recipe page, I'll add more recipes to the list here.

Enjoy! And HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Brie and Sausage Strata
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Sausage Roll Ups with Mustard Dipping Sauce
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Herb Roasted Turkey
Stuffing
Turkey Tetrazzini (great for leftover turkey)
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
Sour Cream Apple Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake

Here is our family's 2010 Thanksgiving menu:

BREAKFAST:
Orange Juice
Fruit Salad with Pumpkin Pie Cream and Gingersnap sprinkles
Brie and Sausage Strata
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

APPETIZERS:
Shrimp Cocktail
Veggie Tray with Various Dips
Sausage Roll Ups with Mustard Dipping Sauce
Brie en Croute stuffed with Cranberry-Pear Chutney, served with apples, pears, grapes and crackers
Chocolate Chip Cheeseball with Cinnamon Graham Crackers (this is the grandkids' favorite)

MAIN ENTREE:
Herb Roasted Turkey
Deep Fried Turkey (our first attempt this year)
Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates and Vanilla-Pecan Butter (a Bobby Flay recipe)
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Strawberry-Pretzel Salad (another favorite with the grandkids, a Paula Deen recipe)
Homemade Cranberry-Blackberry Sauce
Homemade Rolls

DESSERT:
Pumpkin Pie
Nutella Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie
Apple Pie
Sour Cream Apple Pie
Ultimate Cheesecake (a SUPER rich cheesecake with a pineapple glaze)
German Chocolate Cheesecake
Pumpkin Bread Pudding

I know, I know, it's a lot of food, but like I said earlier, it somehow always seems to get eaten, and leftovers are always taken home.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pie Crust Recipe, Pie Crust

With the holidays coming up pies are a favorite in our family for the holidays. And a good pie crust is extremely important to a good pie. This pie crust recipe is from Brian's Grandma Tillie. It's been the best pie crust I've ever had. Enjoy!

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups shortening
  • 1 Tbsp. white or cider vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup ice water
Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut shortening in with pastry blender.

Mix together vinegar, egg and water.  Add to flour mixture a little at a time, mixing with fork until just moistened. Do not over mix.

Bring dough together into a ball. Cut into 4 pieces. Flatten each piece into a round disc. Wrap discs in plastic wrap and chill at least 1/2 hour. Or you can wrap them in plastic wrap, put them in a freezer bag and freeze them for later use.

When ready to use, roll each disc on a floured board to a 1/8" thick circle, 2" wider than your pie plate. Fold in halves or quarters and transfer to pie plate and open.

Fill and bake as directed.

This recipe makes 2 two-layer pie crust, or 4 single layer pie crusts.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bed and Breakfast Seminars, Energizing the Breakfast Experience

ENERGIZING THE BREAKFAST EXPERIENCE

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to both current and aspiring innkeepers at the Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado Conference on "Energizing the Breakfast Experience". We all know that at a Bed and Breakfast Inn the breakfast experience is of key importance to our guests.

Some of the things we discussed were how we seat our guests at breakfast. We at Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins serve breakfast to the guests in our dining room at one long table where the guests can interact with each other and enjoy each other's company and get to know each other. Guests that stay in our Cascade Suite can have their breakfast served to them in-suite, providing a quiet, romantic breakfast just for the two of them. Some B&B's have small, individual tables to serve their guests.

We also talked about the way we serve our guests. We serve plated, 3-course breakfasts to our guests. Some inns offer continental style breakfasts, or family style breakfasts.

And of great importance, WHAT we serve for breakfast. We like to serve foods you don't have for breakfast every day at home. We like to think when you're on vacation, you should be treated special and breakfast should be a new adventure, along with the other activities you'll be enjoying while visiting Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak area. We come up with unique, gourmet, signature dishes that we hope will tantalize our guests' taste buds, and do not believe on skimping on quantity, or quality, of foods. Our 3-course breakfasts consist of a fruit course, a main entree, which rotates from a bread dish one day (french toasts, waffles, pancakes, or stratas, etc), to an egg dish the next day (omelets, quiches, frittatas, etc), and we always end with a breakfast dessert; yes, dessert for breakfast. Breakfast is a main event at our inn, and will often hold you over until nearly dinner time. You can see pictures and some menus on our breakfast page.

Other innkeepers may prepare a continental, or cook to order breakfast for you. And most inns, including us here at Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins, will cater to dietary restrictions such as vegetarians, gluten-free, diabetic, etc.

We also talked about the recipes we use at our inns. Often we have signature and special dishes that our guests want to take home with them and recreate and share with their friends and family. We discussed ways to promote and share our recipes. We have a Recipes page on our website where we share a Recipe of the Month, and more recipes can be found on our blog, and in our newsletters (sign up to receive our newsletters).

After much urging from our guests we have written our own cookbook, "Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins' Favorite Recipes", which includes 349 of the recipes we have been cooking for many years, including appetizers & beverages, soups & salads, main entrees which includes breakfast foods, dinner entrees and lunch dishes, vegetables & sides, which include our fruit dishes, breads and rolls, desserts, cookies & candies, and other delectable goodies. You can purchase our cookbook from our gift shop.

Overall, it was a good session and we were able to share and exchange ideas and learn more ways from each other to Energize the Breakfast Experience.

Come stay with us here in our Colorado Bed and Breakfast Inn and let us share our gourmet breakfasts with you!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I love anything with Pumpkin. I saw a recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls recently and tried it. It turned out ok, but needed tweaking. Since then I've worked on tweaking on them and have finally gotten them right. Served them today at breakfast and they were a huge hit. Enjoy!

PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS
with Caramel Icing


PUMPKIN ROLLS
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) packages dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups bread flour (or regular all purpose flour if you don't have bread flour)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
In a small bowl dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in warm water, set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat milk, butter and pumpkin just until warm and butter is melted, stirring constantly.

In a large bowl beat the eggs just until blended, and add the sugar. Stir in the milk, butter and pumpkin mixture.

Sift 2 cups of the flour, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and salt into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Knead in 4 cups of the remaining flour, and if the dough is too sticky, add a little at a time of the last 1/2 cup if necessary.

Spray a large glass bowl with non stick spray, place top of dough ball in bowl, and flip so the greased side is now on top. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Once dough is doubled in size, roll out on a floured surface to a 12" x 18" rectangle. Brush with the 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the melted butter. Roll up jelly roll style. Cut into 12 pieces. Lay pieces cut side up in a 9" x 13" pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cinnamon rolls 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top and the dough around each roll is just done.

Cut between each roll with a knife and allow to cool while making icing.

CARAMEL ICING:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • dash salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
In a small saucepan heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Cook over medium low heat for 1 minute.

Inn a mixer add powdered sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour in butter mixture and mix until well blended.

Spread over cinnamon rolls.

Makes 12 rolls

*If you don't have pumpkin pie spice you can make your own. This is more than a tablespoon, but I will make lots of it and store it in a small jar with my spices so I have it on hand whenever I need it.
  • 4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cloves

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pumpkin Ravioli, Pumpkin Ravioli Recipe

We have posted a new recipe on our recipe page on our website for Pumpkin Ravioli with Butter Sage Cream Sauce. Click to see our Pumpkin Ravioli Recipe.

This recipe, and 349 others can be found in our cookbook "Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins Favorite Recipes" which can be purchased in our Gift Shop. Click to order our cookbook.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Specials, Vacation Deals Thanksgiving Weekend

LAST MINUTE THANKSGIVING SPECIAL

Plan a family reunion in Colorado and spend the Thanksgiving holidayin the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs. Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins is offering a Vacation Deal Thanksgiving weekend.

Our Colorado Springs vacation rental, in the mountains at Pikes Peak, is the perfect place to gather together for your Thanksgiving holiday celebrations and enjoy each other's company in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains.

The Lodge is nestled on 2+ acres with beautiful mountain views, has a large great room and dining room, perfect for holiday meals, playing games, or just sitting by the crackling fire visiting and enjoying each other's company. Each bedroom has a queen bed, private bathroom, and Cable TV/DVD player. Enjoy the beautiful mountain views outside by sitting out on the outdoor terrace, gazebo, or relaxing in the hot tub. And the kitchen is perfectly equipped to cook up a holiday feast!

The 5 bedroom Lodge will sleep up to 10 people, and the 6 bedroom Lodge will sleep up to 12 people.


Save 20% on our 5 or 6 bedroom Lodge for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Our 6 bedroom Lodge typically rents for $850 per night, but with our holiday discount you can rent our Colorado vacation home for just $680.

The 5 bedroom Lodge typically rents for $700 per night, but with this Thanksgiving special you can rent the mountain vacation home for just $560.

Visit our website at http://www.rockymountainlodge.com/ to find out more about our facilities, and click on the Lodge Rental page for more information about the Lodge itself, and a list of amenities.

We look forward to having you as our guests over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend!